Can Symbols Be Tuned Like Accidentals?

• Jun 7, 2020 - 23:06

Microtonal accidentals can be tuned automatically by means of a number of plugins, which is great. However, unfortunately, only very few accidentals are available as "accidentals". Almost every microtonal accidental one could possibly want is available as a "symbol", but it's not clear to me whether symbols can actually be made to work like an accidental.
For example, a rather useful plugin I found on GIthub has lines like the following:
if (note.accidentalType == Accidental.NATURAL_ARROW_UP)
followed by tuning instructions for Musescore if it encounters this accidental.
All other accidentals can be dealt with in the same way. But is this also possible for symbols? If so, what code would I have to use? That is, in "if (...)", what would have to go on the dots if I'd want an arrowhead pointing up or down, for example?
Or is that impossible? Can only accidentals be tuned (i.e. treated as accidentals)?
(And a more general question: Why are the vast majority of microtonal accidentals only available as "symbols" and not as "accidentals"?)


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I'd like to use arrows and/or arrow heads (open up and down arrow heads ^ and v, most of all), but I can imagine other people would like to use Sagittal notation, for example. There are probably well over a hundred microtonal accidentals in the "symbols" palette, which can be inserted in a score, but which don't have any effect. My question is whether it is somehow possible to assign effects to such symbols in a plugin in the same way that you can assign effects to accidentals.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

If it can be done, how?

The plugin identifies the note that needs retuning by its accidental, like this:
if (note.accidentalType == Accidental.NATURAL_ARROW_UP)

Is is possible to similarly identify notes by their symbols? Something like this?:
if (note.symbolType == Symbol.arrowheadOpenUp)

("Something like", because this particular code doesn't work.)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

If it would be possible to give plugins access to symbols attached to notes as flags for retuning, then there would be less urgency in adding more symbols to the "accidentals" palette. There is, however, another issue with the "symbols" palette: none of the accidentals in there show up in the right place – they all have to be dragged there. If it's not too hard to fix that, it would be nice if accidentals in the "symbols" palette at least appear in the right place for an accidental. (But I can imagine that this is not so easy, as you wouldn't want the same for other symbols in the same palette.)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yeah, I thought so. :(

But in one of your replies above, you suggested that the visibility of symbols as flags for plugins might change. Is there any real prospect of that?

In reply to by Rayosu

symbols as flags??? I meant it'd might help if the symbol IDs / names), SymId, would be accessible via the plugin API. This is not the case currently though, and as far as I can not in the works either.
If they were adding them and then applying a y-offset (of 0.5sp I think) so they align properly with the note head might get you you where you want to be

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

"symbols as flags??? I meant it'd might help if the symbol IDs / names), SymId, would be accessible via the plugin API. This is not the case currently though, and as far as I can not in the works either."
This is what I mean with "symbols as flags" – the ability for plugins to "see" them, use them to identify notes, and then do something with those notes (like retuning them). If I understand you correctly, this would require plugins to access SymId, but that's not likely to be available anytime soon.
That answers my question, I guess — symbols will remain purely cosmetic, which means that the only way to make them useful (other than as cosmetic elements) is by having more of them added as "first class" accidentals. That's unfortunate given – as you wrote elsewhere – having many more accidentals is a "maintenance nightmare". (Which is what made me wonder whether giving plugins access to symbols as note-identifiers (i.e. flags) wouldn't be much easier and maintenance-friendlier.)

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